News Flash

Featured News

Posted on: June 1, 2023

City Nets Positive Credit Ratings

Poughkeepsie seal

For the first time in more than a decade, the City of Poughkeepsie received “positive” outlooks from credit rating agencies, including an improved “investment grade” status from one of the reviewing agencies. 

Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P) and Moody’s credit rating agencies released their determinations Wednesday, with S&P Global saying the city has reached “investment grade” status for the first time since 2016.

Mayor Marc Nelson noted the significance of these improvements, pointing out that better credit ratings can significantly reduce the costs of borrowing by recognizing lower financial risks to investors through low-interest rates.

Mayor Nelson said, “This is a momentous announcement because it impacts, one way or the other, nearly every resident, business and property owner in the city. Regaining our city’s investment grade quality bond rating was a chief objective of former mayor and now Senator Rob Rolison which has now been achieved thanks to the hard work of the city’s Finance Department, led by Dr. Brian Martinez, and the support of all our city departments.” 

S&P’s “BBB (Positive Outlook)” rating assigns an “investment grade” rating, while Moody’s “Ba1 (Positive Outlook)” is their highest rating just below investment grade.  In S&P’s ratings analysis, the city was credited with taking a variety of fiscally related actions over the past seven years, including:

  • Reducing the general fund deficit from $16 million in 2016 to $6.8 million in 2021
  • Consolidating transportation operations with Dutchess County in 2017
  • Increasing revenues as part of the strategy to turn around negative fund balances
  • Negotiating a new sales tax agreement with Dutchess County in 2022, and
  • Building a “well-seasoned management team, with a continued focus on strengthening existing policies.”

City Finance Commissioner Dr. Martinez said, “The assignment of two ‘positive’ outlooks from two different credit rating agencies is evidence of the arduous and meaningful work over many years by the city’s finance team and recent commissioners. Receiving an ‘investment’ grade rating from a major credit agency after so many years demonstrates the team’s long-term commitment to strategically improve the city’s finances.” 

Dr. Martinez added, “The city’s finance team will continue its ongoing work to achieve timely compliance reporting, to modernize accounting systems, and implement best practices to reduce unnecessary complexity for our citizens.”

S&P spoke to many of these efforts, mentioning the city’s focus on strengthening and expanding existing policies, crediting the city’s administration and the Common Council for formally adopting new policies to define fund balance and investment objectives in March 2023, and entering into a Municipal Cooperation Agreement with the New York Cooperative Liquid Assets Security System (NYCLASS) to leverage earnings on investment during a historically high return period.

Common Council Chairwoman Natasha Brown said, “The recognition by both these rating agencies that the city’s fiscal condition has continued to improve and is expected to continue to improve based on current conditions, is extremely good news for our community. Having served on the Common Council since 2016, I know firsthand how difficult it is to allocate scarce resources within a city where needs are so great. I want to thank my colleagues on the Council and particularly those who have made it a priority to work collaboratively with the Administration over the years – and I am proud of the work we have done together.”

On top of improving the city’s credit rating to “BBB” investment grade, S&P deemed the city worthy of a “positive” financial outlook, citing a one-in-three chance the city will fully eliminate its deficit in the near future. According to the ratings analyses, the city still has work to do to eliminate the city’s deficit. Paired with maintaining positive operations, these actions “could raise the rating — possibly multiple notches, over the next two years.” 

In reaching a decision to raise the city’s credit rating, both S&P Global and Moody’s agreed that stressors remain as fixed costs are expected to grow such as pension and other benefits, and negative fund balances must be addressed to continue to raise the city’s credit rating. Both reporting agencies cited the hard work that has gone into correcting the city’s financial profile; for example, between 2012 and 2015 prior administrations deferred $5.14 million in New York State pension contributions. The current administration made on time payments in the full amount and paid ahead on the past due (amortized) payments. The remaining backlog of $1.12 million is on track to be paid off by 2025. 

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Featured News

snow plow vertical photo for website this one

Mayor Flowers Declares Snow Emergency

Posted on: January 5, 2024
Poughkeepsie seal

City Extends Its 2024 CDBG Application

Posted on: January 8, 2024
snow plow vertical photo for website this one

City Prepares for Snowstorm

Posted on: January 5, 2024
Yvoone Flowers 2023 for website this one

Flowers To Be Sworn In As Mayor on Jan. 2

Posted on: December 14, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

Mayor Releases Preliminary 2024 Budget

Posted on: October 16, 2023
Ice House website New Version

City Seeks Ice House Operator at Waryas

Posted on: October 10, 2023
Grand Avenue for website

City Sets Meeting on S. Grand Ave. Project

Posted on: September 26, 2023
Kaal Rock Website this one really

City Holds Meeting on Kaal Rock Park Plan

Posted on: September 6, 2023
PK4Keeps Vertical This One really

City Sets Meeting on Draft Zoning Code

Posted on: September 20, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Secures Grant for Fire Equipment

Posted on: August 15, 2023
Malcolm X photo website this one

City Renovates Malcolm X Park

Posted on: June 2, 2023
fireworks

City Sets July 4th Fireworks Event

Posted on: June 13, 2023
Website this one

Main Street Gets Spruce Up Project

Posted on: April 21, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Announces Youth Grant Awards

Posted on: April 11, 2023
Marc State of the City this one

Mayor Delivers State of City Address

Posted on: March 30, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Sets Preliminary Paving Schedule

Posted on: March 20, 2023
Marc Nelson website this one really

Mayor to Deliver Address on March 29

Posted on: March 2, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City releases 2023 CDBG Grant Application

Posted on: February 14, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

City Approves Updates to LWRP

Posted on: January 23, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

Council Members Participate in Training

Posted on: January 23, 2023
Nelson website

Nelson Sworn in as Mayor of City

Posted on: January 4, 2023
Poughkeepsie seal

Public Input Sought on LWRP Draft

Posted on: December 15, 2022
Poughkeepsie seal

Nelson Selects Transition Team

Posted on: December 7, 2022
Vinnie Parise this one

Parise Named Deputy Fire Chief

Posted on: December 6, 2022
Nelson and Rolison for website

Nelson to Become Mayor in 2023

Posted on: November 21, 2022
Celebreation of Lights Photo for the Web

Celebration of Lights Delights Crowd

Posted on: November 10, 2022
Garbage cans for website

Trash Receptacles Program Expands

Posted on: November 30, 2022
Youth Director Web Photo

City Names First Youth Services Director

Posted on: October 31, 2022
Poughkeepsie seal

Mayor Releases Preliminary 2023 Budget

Posted on: October 17, 2022
photo for website

Soccer Mini Pitches Open at Pulaski Park

Posted on: October 11, 2022
PK4Keeps Vertical This One really

City Approves Comprehensive Plan

Posted on: September 7, 2022
Macolmn for Website this one

Malcolm X Park Upgrades to Start

Posted on: September 7, 2022
Latino Outreach Event

Latino Outreach Event Set For October 6

Posted on: September 26, 2022
9-11 2022 web

City Holds 9/11 Memorial Service

Posted on: September 9, 2022
L. Julee Molina Photo website this one

Bilingual Outreach Person Hired

Posted on: August 4, 2022
PK4Keeps Vertical This One really

Fourth Open House Set for 'PK4Keeps'

Posted on: August 11, 2022
fireworks

City to Host Fireworks on July 4th

Posted on: June 23, 2022
City of Poughkeepsie housing rainbow photo

City Releases Housing Needs Assessment

Posted on: February 28, 2022
photo x

Mayor Names Franco as New Fire Chief

Posted on: July 18, 2022
Poughkeepsie placeholder

Website Personalization Now Available!

Posted on: September 21, 2021
Rushing water

Create an Account

Posted on: September 21, 2021